By John Hertz: Alison Scott has received the 2019 Rotsler Award for long-time wonder-working with graphic art in amateur publications of the science fiction community.
The Award, established at the death of Bill Rotsler, has been given since 1998. It carries an honorarium of US$300.
Rotsler did everything and knew everyone. He sculpted with stainless-steel rods and went house-hunting with Marilyn Monroe. He drew on paper, mimeograph stencils, food, body parts.
The SF community’s highest achievement award is the Hugo Award, named for SF pioneer Hugo Gernsback, voted annually in several categories by members of the World Science Fiction Convention.
Rotsler won the Best-Fanartist Hugo five times, in 1975 and 1979, 1996 (when he also won a Retrospective Hugo for 1946) and 1997, a remarkable span. His cartoons were deft, his serious drawing fine, his fluency downright breathtaking.
Scott gained renown as layout wizard and cover artist for the much-loved – no, it’s British, better not say that – highly-regarded fanzine PLOKTA, “the journal of superfluous technology”, PLOKTA being an acronym for Press Lots Of Keys To Abort.
PLOKTA won the Best-Fanzine Hugo in 2005 and 2006. Scott won the United Kingdom’s Nova Award as Best Fanartist in ’05, ’07, and ’08. The Plokta cabal attended the 67th Worldcon (“Anticipation”, Montreal) and produced its newsletter Voyageur.
Scott chaired her national convention the Eastercon (held Easter weekend) in 1995 (“Confabulation”, 46th Eastercon, London) and 2018 (“Follycon”, 69th Eastercon, Harrogate). She will be Fan Guest of Honour in 2020 (“Concentric”, 71st Eastercon, Birmingham).
These admirable distinctions are only mentioned as noteworthy. They do not of course qualify or disqualify her for the Rotsler Award, which is a cat that walks by itself.
Here are front and back covers Scott did for an issue of Beam (then by Nic Farey and Jim Trash, currently by Farey and Ulrika O’Brien),
and a front cover for PLOKTA.
The Concentric materials so far released say she is irrepressible. Brits are understated.
The Rotsler winner is announced each year at Loscon, held at Los Angeles during the United States Thanksgiving-holiday weekend. Loscon XLVI, 29 November – 1 December 2019, will have a display of Scott’s work in the Art Show, and elsewhere of all Rotsler winners to date. A display of all Rotsler winners can usually be seen at the Worldcon; for “Dublin 2019”, the 77th Worldcon, look here.
Loscon is sponsored by the non-profit L.A. Science Fantasy Society, oldest SF club in the world. The Rotsler is sponsored by the non-profit Southern California Institute for Fan Interests. The current Rotsler judges are Mike Glyer, John Hertz (since 2003), and Sue Mason (since 2015).
More examples of Alison Scott’s artwork follow the jump.